One of Banksy’s latest ‘Spraycation’ murals has been defaced in Suffolk, with the local council “appalled” over the vandalism.
The artwork, of a rat sitting on a deckchair, appeared on a beach in Lowestoft last week, with the anonymous street artist confirming he was behind it on Saturday.
But on Sunday residents in the town woke up to find the mural covered in white paint.
East Suffolk Council said a member of security staff had caught the person responsible in the act and stopped them causing any further damage.
It said it plans to employ “professional restorers” to remove the paint.
“We are naturally appalled that someone has chosen to behave in such a selfish and mindless way given how excited we all are by the appearance of these works here on the east coast,” it said in a statement.
“We are, however, hopeful that this particular work can be restored, and are engaging with specialists.”
The council said that, on confirmation the Banksy piece was genuine, it had ordered materials to safeguard the mural.
“In the interim, we have also employed security patrols to visit each site and on this occasion, our patrols actually interrupted the individual defacing this work and prevented any further damage occurring,” it added.
“We are very grateful for the huge goodwill of local people who are proud of these artworks, but we would kindly ask people not to try and repair the works themselves and to please leave this to professional restorers.”
The rat in the deckchair piece was one of several that appeared across Suffolk and Norfolk in the past week.
Named The Great British Staycation after coronavirus derailed plans of holidays abroad for thousands of Britons, the collection has attracted visitors to the area.
Other pieces in the series include a seagull fishing rubbish out of a skip in Lowestoft and a grabbing machine above a bench in Gorleston-on-Sea.
Banksy confirmed he was responsible for the artwork in an Instagram video on Saturday, which showed him working on them in a hoodie to hide his identity.
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